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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 08:05

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Dec 21, 2011 By Sakthi Prasad, Ludwig Burger and Maria Sheahan/Reuters - AviationWeek.com

 

BENGALURU and FRANKFURT - Germany’s Siemens named Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, to head a new unit aimed at winning U.S. government contracts.

 

The appointment of McChrystal, who was fired by President Barack Obama last year after disparaging remarks in a magazine interview, comes at a time when Siemens is eager to improve relations with Washington, D.C., following a bribery scandal settled in 2008.

 

McChrystal, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, will become chairman of the board of directors at Siemens Government Technologies, Siemens said in a statement Dec. 19.

 

He will be joined by former Army Lt. Gen. John Sylvester and retired Lockheed Martin and General Electric executive Robert Coutts, who will serve as board members, Siemens said.

 

Obama fired McChrystal, then commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, in July 2010 over remarks he and his aides made in a Rolling Stone magazine article that disparaged the president and other civilian leaders.

 

The U.S. is Siemens’ biggest single market, accounting for almost 20% of group revenue in the company’s last fiscal year.

 

Its image there was tarnished by a U.S. investigation of allegations that for years it paid bribes to win contracts, which ended in a $1.4 billion settlement with U.S. and German authorities in 2008 and prompted its CEO to step down.

 

Three years later, the past is still coming back to haunt Siemens. Last week, U.S. prosecutors charged eight former Siemens executives with paying $100 million in bribes for more than a decade to officials in Argentina to help win a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards.

 

The company set up Siemens Government Technologies—based on an existing business called Siemens Government Services—this year to win federal military and civilian contracts.

 

Its products include security systems based on face recognition from closed circuit television or iris-scans, as well as data networks, power plant and transmission equipment, competing with General Electric.

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